Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed on Saturday clarified that the decision to not select Fawad Alam for the upcoming tour of Ireland and England was a mutual decision and not a unilateral one borne out of any grudges.
Alam fared reasonably well in the recently held national training camp but once again failed to make the squad, triggering a massive backlash against chief selector Inzamamul Haq.
Inzamam had defended his decision to not pick Alam, telling ESPNcricinfo that he "has seen better players than Fawad Alam in the last three years" — an opinion that did little to satisfy the out-of-favour batsman's supporters, including Rashid Latif.
And now skipper Sarfraz has come to the under-fire chief selector's rescue, telling newsmen at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore: "We have four selectors, a coach and a captain. Whenever a squad is being formed everyone offers their opinion and then the final side is picked with mutual understanding and cooperation. Squads aren't selected unilaterally or without consultation — it doesn't work that way."
"Sure, there is always a difference of opinion but it doesn't mean that someone (Inzamam) was against someone's (Alam) inclusion," he added.
When asked why he didn't push for Alam's inclusion in the team despite being the team's captain, Sarfraz took a diplomatic stance, saying: "It's not that I didn't vote for him. If it were up to me I would take all 25 players for the tour. But we have to select 16 so [naturally] some were included and some not."
Sarfraz, however, made it clear that the door to the national team is not closed for Alam or anyone, saying that in future tournaments whoever performs well will make the cut.